Every now and then I lose my head, mess up the timetable and go to the Soares dos Reis Museum to see Pousão, pass by the church of S. Francisco, or get on a tram and go round the world, down to Foz via the Marginal and up via Boavista (…)
Miguel Torga, Portugal (1950)
Adolfo Correia da Rocha was born in 1907 in S. Martinho de Anta, Sabrosa, where he completed his primary education with honours.
Coming from a humble peasant family with few economic resources, he worked in Porto, attended the Lamego Seminary and emigrated to Brazil as a teenager. On his return to Portugal, he studied medicine in Coimbra, where he lived and died in 1995.
A vehement and uncompromising personality, he was a poet, initially associated with the Presença group, which he soon abandoned.
He adopted the pseudonym Miguel Torga, in honour of two great figures of Iberian culture, Miguel de Cervantes and Miguel de Unamuno, and also the torga (calluna vulgaris), a wild mountain plant with strong roots.
His extensive oeuvre deals, among other themes, with the drama of poetic creation, humanist despair, telluric feeling, religious issues, Iberianism and the universal.
A defender of freedom and justice, his works were censored, he suffered political persecution and was imprisoned, although he never joined any political party.
He was honoured with numerous national and international literary prizes and was a candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature.